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"What can I do for shingles pain on the left side of my face?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat can I do for shingles pain on the left side of my face?


I have had shingles on the left side of my face. It started in my inner left ear. I no longer get sores or blisters, but still have constant pain. I don't have any more pain pills and use Calamine lotion for very temporary pain relief. Over the counter meds don't help at all!


Unfortunately, this is a known and common complication of getting shingles. We call this post-herpetic neuralgia. This is basically a term that means that the nerves in your face are angry because of the infection, and are therefore sending pain signals to your brain. Most of the time this pain goes away eventually on its own, but in some circumstances the pain can persist. It is important to get your pain treated because treating the pain of the shingles can help prevent a more chronic pain syndrome. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can listen more closely to your symptoms and make sure that your pain is related to the former shingles. If it is, then you would probably benefit from treatment with acyclovir or valacyclovir which helps to battle back the virus. If it has been more than a few weeks since your infection, then these drugs would not work. At that point your doctor will consider placing you on a medication for this type of pain. Medications such as gabapentin are likely to be helpful in this situation, and may even reduce the amount of time that you are in pain. Good luck.

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